The Prodigal Chronicles: Poems for Coming Home (New book trailer)

Now more than ever, we all need vocabulary and permission to talk about the hard things in life with pandemic, war and human rage as every day occurrences for us.  Joel’s poetry targets that need and helps others express their own hurt, pain and joy in prayers and reflections for life. His third collection of poetry, The Prodigal Chronicles: Poems for Coming Home, focuses on one of Joel's favorite topics: the Love of our Father in Heaven, and our desperate need for his daily welcoming.  

Introduction from the author: 

For me, the one topic that never gets old is that of the love of God as told in the parable of the prodigal son.  Maybe it is being a dad, or having “run away” from home so many times over, but knowing that Jesus has paid my way back to the Father never ceases to comfort me like no other news can.  

I recall as a college student, coming home one break to my own father throwing a dinner for me in the presence of my mom and brothers.  He knew more than I did that I was a prodigal then. As he threw a robe over my shoulders (bathrobe, but a robe nonetheless), a gold ring and then hugged and kissed me in his joy and tears, I knew it was a permanent and divine moment I was living. Sitting down to dinner that day many years ago, I felt not an ounce of shame for my past, nor regret that I was being singled out because of the overwhelming fact that my dad had thrown me a party – just as I was.  

More than 15 years later, I continue to need the homecoming that my earthly dad showed me that day.  May these poems tell us all the deeper story of our woundedness and help beckon us close to the arms of our Father in Heaven time and again.  May we never, ever leave home though it takes our whole lives to arrive. - JH

Featured excerpt: 

Father me
by Joel Howard

Father give me what's ahead
vs. Father take me now instead
Father show me what's to come
vs. Father I'm undone, Father I'm undone
Father I deserve now what I lack
vs. Father take this sinner back
Father me, Father me, Father me

Father punish others' sins
vs. Father cleanse me now within
Father explain yourself to me
vs. Father hold me, Father hold me
Father fix this broken world
vs. Father make me moldable
Father me, Father me, Father me

Father shut this party down
vs. Father heal my blindness somehow
Father hold back your great love
vs. Father mend me, Father mend me
Father thrust me now ahead
vs. Father help me to begin
Father me, Father me, Father me

Father fulfill now all my dreams
vs. Father make this sinner clean
Father work now on my time
vs. Father stop me, Father stop me
Father fix the people around
vs. Father help me to slow down
Father me, Father me, Father me

Find more from Joel at and pick up this book (coming soon)! 

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